Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My First Vegan Banana Split

It has honestly been years since I have had a banana split, vegan or not. I remember when I was little seeing it at Dairy Queen and thinking how gigantic they were. Back a couple years ago I got pretty hooked on Banana Split Blizzards from DQ but those went out the window with dairy obviously.

Mac has recently been on a Backyardigans kick where it is literally the only thing he will watch on TV and in one episode they have banana splits and he's been wondering what all the fuss is about since. I should also add that thanks to The Backyardigans, the other day for lunch Mac asked for a vegetable quesadilla, so it's not all bad! Anyways, I decided to try and recreate the classic dessert but all vegan and a slight modification for my little chocolate hater.

Mac's banana split, he told me, would include strawberry, vanilla and blueberry ice cream so I had to figure that one out! I have been testing some ice creams for Carla Kelly lately for a new project of hers and the vanilla was just right for this. I then thought I could probably alter the vanilla to be the other two flavours and I was right...and it was so easy! I just made her basic vanilla and added fresh strawberries with a little lemon juice to one batch and some frozen blueberries and lemon juice to another. Perfection, Carla is a genius! For the rest of us I went with the classic strawberry, vanilla and chocolate. For the whip cream I used Healthy Top from Mimic Cream. That stuff is wonderful, only takes a little bit of planning and so easy to use. I always have at least one container on the shelf at all times, you know, in case of emergency whipped cream needs (those happen, right?). I made the fruit sauces myself and will put my "recipe" (I use the term very loosely) below.

Mac was pretty impressed with the whole thing and even though it was three tiny scoops of ice cream and half a small banana it seemed like an all you can eat ice cream buffet to him! He decided that he didn't need sauce or whipped cream or cherries, he just wanted the ice cream and banana. He even walked away before it was all finished saying "it's just too much". I know he's mine but things like that make me question it.  Good for him I say, to know when enough is enough. It seems like something he just came with. For the grown-ups, we went for a scaled down but all out banana split experience. Vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream with pineapple, strawberry and chocolate sauce, topped with a little dollop of Healthy Top and a cherry of course!

It might not look that glamorous to us but I swear to Mac it was like Candy Land in a bowl! He freaked right out for this!

I will say that it was a fair bit of friggin' around to make all the ice creams and toppings but it was totally worth it since they were all so friggin' delicious! It is definitely a special occasion treat that requires a little planning but that's probably best. I don't agree with Michael Pollan all the time but that rule he came up with where you can eat whatever you want as long as you make it all from scratch and you then won't eat it everyday really does make a lot of sense and applies to this for sure! I earned this one!

Strawberry Sauce

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (local if you can get them)
3/4 cup organic sugar (or not organic, it's up to you!)
1 tbsp lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with a splash of cool water to get it liquid and no lumps

Put berries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium sized pot over medium heat. The sugar will start to dissolve and the juices will release from the berries after a minute or so, just keep stirring. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the berries have softened a bit and it looks like a runny jam. Blend with an immersion blender (carefully since it is really hot and might splash) but leave some little chunks of strawberries in there. Add the cornstarch that has been mixed with water to the strawberry sauce to thicken if you want it a little more jam like, making sure to keep stirring while you add it in. Cook until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool before storing in the fridge.

Pineapple Sauce

3/4 cup organic sugar
1 tbsp lime juice (fresh or bottled)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with a splash of cool water to get it liquid with no lumps

Cut the pineapple chunks into smaller pieces so they will cook down a bit faster, especially the harder core pieces. Place the pineapple and all the juice from the can in a medium size sauce pan over medium low heat with the sugar, lime juice and vanilla extract. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the pineapple is softened. Blend with an immersion blender (careful of it spitting, it's hot!) but not smooth, you want to have some texture in there. Add the cornstarch slurry while stirring so you don't get lumps and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool before storing in the fridge.


  1. That looks fantastic, funny how you forget how good things are. Will have to make it now.